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Can I purchase and legally carry a fire arm if I was charged in 1997 with domestic violence assault 4 in Washington State?

Tacoma, WA |

In 1997 I was charged with domestic violence assault 4. I would like to know if there is a statute of limitations on the charge. I completed all suggested courses and have not been charged with any domestic issues since. I would like to purchase firearms for hunting as well as a gun for self defense. With this charge can I legally carry and own firearms in Washington State?

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Attorney answers 3


The answer seems to be no. If you have been convicted for a DV assault 4th degree case in the past you lost your right to possess a firearm and you have to petition a court of record, a Superior court in order to get this right restored. Got to the court where the case is from and file a petition with Superior court to be reinstated. It isn't easy but possible if your record isn't bad. If you only have this one case you have a good shot. If you have several cases. Not so much.


There is no confidentiality online. If charged with a crime, the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Best person to ask is your attorney. If you cannot find your attorney, or find a local attorney on Avvo, a good place to look is the website for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (
NACDL local members: (
NACDL Local affiliates: (

18 USC § 922(g) & (n). Punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Possible minimum sentence of 15 years without parole if offender has three or more prior convictions for a felony crime of violence (e.g. burglary, robbery, assault, possession of offensive weapons) and/or drug trafficking felony.

A. Possession or receipt of a firearm or ammunition;

B. By a subject who falls within one of the following categories: Felons; Addicts; Aliens; Subjects to a domestic restraining order; Prior conviction for domestic assault; Fugitive from justice; or Dishonorably discharged from the military;

C. The firearm or ammunition was transported across a state line at any time.

There may also be state considerations: (I make no representations about the site's accuracy or currentness; you should double check on your state legislature website or local law library.)

Educational purposes answer. | | | | | Non-privileged answer.

James Regan

James Regan


You are welcome.


The statute of limitations applies only to the period of time between when you committed the crime, and when charges were filed. There is no statute of limitations after conviction.

You may have a better chance of restoring your firearm rights if you first vacate your assault 4 conviction. See here:

Or consult an attorney.